By Emma Wolff

For most teenage boys, the COVID-19 pandemic was a great excuse to stay inside and play videogames all day. But that wasn’t the case for one motivated Deer Valley Boy Scout. Braeden Ferman, a high school senior, used the pandemic as an opportunity to help the community and earn his prestigious Eagle Scout ranking.

“Becoming an Eagle Scout represents an honorable, courageous and kind lifestyle,” says Braeden. “This demonstrates all my hard work and service to my community. I am proud to have dedicated myself to a journey that takes many years. I am grateful for the skills I have learned and the people I met as a Boy Scout. Not many others my age have this unique experience and the life long memories that come with it.”

During Braeden’s scouting career he attended numerous camps, volunteered in the community, and built his Eagle Scout Project. In order to receive the Eagle Scout ranking, each candidate is required to earn 21 merit badges, serve six months as a Life Scout, and complete a leadership community service project. This is no easy task and only 4% of Boy Scouts earn the title of Eagle Scout.

For Braeden’s Eagle Scout project, he chose to help the endangered pronghorns that migrate through Arizona’s desert valley. He worked closely with Arizona Game and Fish and the Bureau of Land Management to remove barbed wire fencing in order to protect the pronghorns during their migration.

Due to COVID-19, Braedon had to complete this project with only nine volunteers instead of the typical 15 or more, to ensure the safety of all participants. However, with social distancing and mask-wearing precautions, this project was completed and helped the wildlife in the Sonoran Desert.

When he isn’t spending his time protecting the endangered pronghorns, Braeden helps his younger siblings in their scouting careers. At just 14-years old, Braeden became a Senior Patrol Leader for his younger brother’s troop. Here he helps 86 boys learn the ways of the Boy Scouts.

“It has been a privilege to see Braedon grow up in the Boy Scout programs,” says Christopher Ferman, Braeden’s father. “These programs have assisted him to be a light in our community. He is a hard-working young man, dedicated to being an example to the youth around him both in Scouts and school. I have seen him manage several balls in the air at once. He played school sports, was in the school band, volunteered in more than one organization, and did it all while honoring the twelve points of the Scout Law.”

Braeden is finishing his senior year of high school and looks forward to the next chapter of his academic career at Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering. He plans to become a pilot and to continue his service to the community throughout his life.